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didate to deflect consideration from his probable usefulness as a public servant. It was a dispassionate and rather amiable campaign, as campaigns go, but an unusually thoughtful one. And in several of the State campaigns for governor the issues were unusually interesting, and the fight for purer government unusually brisk and hopeful. The millennium is probably not close at hand notwithstanding we have elected a President and some governors, but it does seem, as we look back, as if the aspirations of the American people were mounting higher; that they are showing increased will to walk in peace and deal justly with all men, and a growing purpose to have all men-especially their own legislators and administrators-deal justly by them.
THE FIELD OF ART
BRONZE DOORS FOR THE BOSTON PUB- ure-it is yet a very surprising motive of de
sign, the frank abandonment of those broad surfaces of metal to draped human figures, grouped in couples. As for the legends at the foot of each panel, we may take them as the equivalent of the statue's pedestal in each case; and indeed it is very much in that way that the eye sees those firm horizontal lines of lettering in the low relief of the bronze.
In what has been said above neither praise nor deprecation is even suggested. The reader is asked to consider how very unusual the treatment is before he begins to admire the work of combined and organized fine art. And this further consideration may be entertained, that the front of the library is not one of those columnar designs of a rather cold neoclassical character which our recent public buildings affect; it is a very close imitation of a Parisian building of the time of Louis Philippe-a building of the Romantic School, if there ever was one-a building without a single classical detail in its whole façade. And it is in the light of these thoughts that one remarks upon the statue-like treatment of the figures in the first place, and upon their unusual posing in the second place. If we imagined six statues in the place of these six reliefs we should find our supposed statues unusual in the continued repetition of what is an unusual action for a statue-the raised arms with the hands carrying and displaying attributes. Yet it is not to be supposed for a moment that objection to this pose is even suggested. It would be unusual, but it might be a splendid composition, even for a statue, this throwing up of the arms, as it were, to display the emblems which the hands securely hold. But in the low relief of the bronze panels it is of all possible attitudes the most effective— effective in the way of non-artistic sentiment as calling attention strongly to the purpose of the figure; effective artistically as filling, in the most admirable way, the lofty and somewhat narrow flat surface of the bronze plate.
IX great bronze valves, weighing fifteen hundred pounds apiece, were on exhibition in New York during a part of the month of September, and are now, as we go to press, in place in the three great doorways fronting Copley Square. These are the new doors of the Boston Public Library, the work of Daniel Chester French; and the excellent and really marvellous castings are of the John Williams foundry.
They are unusual in appearance for bronze doors. When those of the Library of Congress were designed by Olin Warner and were put into place eight years ago the tall single figures occupying large panels in the middle of each door were surprising enough, supported though they were by broad frames with floral decoration of a Renaissance type and having, under their feet and above their heads, panels deeply sunken and filled with purely decorative compositions.
But Mr. French has gone a step farther, a long step farther, in the way of reducing his bronze valves to the condition of pure sculpture. If he were to put up in each of the three square door-openings two statues of more than life size, stopping the way by their mere mass and relieved against the dark interior, he would not eliminate more completely that which is commonly called the decorative element in sculpture. Here is no semblance of panelling, or of other breakingup of the smooth door; the human figure, about six feet high, is the whole design. Granted that in these flat panels there are laurel wreaths hung at top with the halfveiled inscriptions, Knowledge, Truth, and the like, and granted that the supposed statues would hardly have the little soaring birds of the panel "Music," or the rising incense-smoke and the stars of the panel "Poetry"-granted so much deference to that semi-pictorial influence which is identified in our minds with decorative relief sculptVOL. XXXVI.—85
is universal, and is sure to be found in music rightly understood. That music should be found in poetry is quite another and a less certain thing.
The right-hand group is feminine also. Truth has her mirror, for that at least is a certain attribute which no modern dealer in the metaphorical can afford to omit. The globe in her left hand is evidently the crystal ball in which new truths, unsuspected truths, are discovered. Romance holds the dramatic mask of not strongly marked type, as suggesting that both Comedy and Tragedy come within the scope of Romance. A sword and a crown, very slightly indicated and not crushing the graceful curves of the figure by their hard outlines, are held in the left hand. One is pleased with the treatment of the headdress, with great natural flowers fastened in the masses of hair and affording a pleasant contrast with the solid,. smoothly laid locks of Truth. It will, of course, be noted by everyone that Truth is as nearly nude as the composition of six draped figures would allow one of them to be. The loose robe is held merely by the girdle; it is a cloak alone, without the chiton or the tunic which the other female figures are seen to wear.
The middle doorway is occupied by taller and more massive figures, one of which at least is male. Knowledge holds a very ponderous volume on his left shoulder, and in his right hand a globe slightly indicated-a mere suggestion of the study of the greater and the smaller spheres. Wisdom holds the staff of
Copyright, 1904, by Daniel C. French.
Hermes without the familiar wings, but capped, between its serpents, with a round mirror-for rays of light dart from it. In the left hand Wisdom supports what must be a covered goblet entirely concealed by the cloth draped around it; for so it is that Wisdom differs from Knowledge-by the hidden sources, the intuitive nature of its power. The robe of Wisdom has beautifully arranged embroidery in scroll-work with anthemions and with the significant A N.
Copyright, 1904, by Daniel C. French..
coin, for if we compare measurements along the field and in relief from the field, we should find that the proportions were nearly the same.
There is only room to add that these figures afford the most remarkable instance within reach of the lowest of low relief used in a decorative way. Nowhere does the relief exceed 1% inches in its projechon, and It will be a pleasure to every Bostonian and there are only one or two points in the Ato every frequent visitor to Boston to note the figures themselves, their drapery thoradh passing of the color of the bronze attributes, which reach even that measure f from that of bright yellowish-brown copper -the measure of the projecting band form to more or less green patina which will it by and by.
ing each great door.